New Hampshire Could Punish 'Negligent' Hikers

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If you get injured or lost in the New Hampshire woods, get ready to pull out your checkbook when the SAR cavalry comes — or forget about driving home. According to a proposed law, the state will require hikers ruled as "negligent" to pay for rescue services; if they refuse, they'll lose any driver's, fishing, or hunting licenses.

New Hampshire officials are seeking to curb the cost of search-and-rescue operations, and they "estimate $42,000 of the $150,000 spent last year on search-and-rescue missions was attributable to negligence." Neither the tiny article nor the law specifies exactly what qualifies as negligent, which I'd imagine leaves some room for debate. Does failing to bring a map or guidebook count as negligent? What about not checking the weather before hiking? Or how about wearing cotton socks?

Given the hefty costs involved with some SAR operations, if you needed rescue and were deemed "negligent," it might be worth it to just skip the bill, take a hit, and ride the bus for a while.

What do you think:

— Ted Alvarez

NH law gets tougher on negligent hikers (AP)